Saturday, May 7, 2011

The History of Mother's Day

I was thinking about Mother's Day which is this Sunday, 8 May, 2011 and wondered where the holiday originated so I went on the Internet to do a little research. I found a sad, but interesting story.

The concept dates back to the 1600's in England but the modern version of Mother's Day took form in the early 20th century, thanks to Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis and her daughter Anna. When Ann envisioned Mother's Day it was more about community service. It wasn't about thanking your mother for all she did.

Ann Marie died on the second Sunday in May of 1905. After she passed away, her daughter Anna made it her mission to make Mother's Day a holiday - not only to honour her mother, but all mothers.

On the second Sunday in May of 1907, Anna held a small memorial service for her mother in Grafton, VA. The mourners present received a white carnation, which had been Anne Marie's favourite flower. Anna organized another service a year later, and this service is generally accepted as the first official Mother's Day event.

The full story, which is quite interesting, can be found at this link.

The story explained the tradition of wearing a white carnation if your Mom has passed away, but I was not able to find out where the tradition originated of wearing a red carnation if your Mom is living. It may be that white symbolises peace and red symbolises life and love.

When I was about five years old, I took part in a Mother's Day Sunday School programme at my church. I had to learn a little verse and wear a red carnation for my Mom. I still remember the verse, as does my Mom:

"For the dearest Mother in the Nation

Today I'm wearing my Carnation"

This is my Mom and I will be calling her this Sunday to wish her a Happy Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day to Moms everywhere

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